Visit Report : Islay High School

School: Islay High School
Location: Islay
Date: 27/02/2019
Duration: Full Day
Modules: Galaxy Zoo : S2
Destination Mars : S2
Introduction to Cosmology : S3 – S4
Extra-solar Planets : S3 – S4
Space Exploration : S2 – S4
Pupil Participants: 47
Adult Participants: 6
Visit Activity:


Our second day on Islay was spent at Islay High School, which is the only secondary school on the island and educates around 200 pupils. After an early drive up from Port Ellen, we started the visit by rotating the school’s two S2 class groups through the ‘Destination Mars’ module, where they looked into the considerations around establishing a human colony on Mars, and also the ‘Galaxy Zoo’ module, where we had pupils using their new found knowledge to categorise a number of unknown galaxy images. After the break, the NAT5 (S3 to S4) Science students tackled our ‘Introduction to Cosmology’ module, which covered the idea of galaxy expansion, gravitational waves, dark matter and dark energy. The all seemed to cope admirably with some fairly advanced ideas.

Following lunch, the NAT5s were introduced to the topic of planets around other stars, and looked at some of the main techniques being used to discover these distant new worlds. The day finished with our ‘Space Exploration’ talk, which looked at some of the exciting achievements of the past, and some of the exciting space opportunities that lie ahead, particularly for the current school generation.